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1 Chronicles 11-12, 14: David Becomes King

Original Publication Date
February 24, 2017
Updated
Oct 8, 2023 2:58 AM
Tags
1 ChroniclesChapter StudyDavidRelationshipsLeadership
Bible References
1 Chronicles 11-12; 14
Status
Done
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Table of Contents
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on February 24, 2017 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.

Introduction

Chapters 11, 12, and 14 give a more in depth look at David's leadership.

David is Anointed

The beginning of chapter 11 tells us about the anointing of David. This information is also given in 1 Samuel 16. David was anointed king well before he actually took the throne.

Valiant Men

Several verses in 1 Chronicles 11 discuss David's "30 valiant men," but if you count the number of men listed, you will note that there are more than 30. Some of the names mentioned, such as Uriah who is killed by David to hide his sin with Bathsheba, definitely died before David. Likely, when these men died, another man was appointed to take the deceased man's place. David probably kept the group at 30, which is why they're always referred to as the 30 valiant men.

David Hides from Saul

Chapter 12 covers David's time in hiding from Saul. If you remember from 1 Samuel 30, David hid in Ziklag. We are given a list of the men who followed him, which includes details on which tribes had men come to join him. 217,100 men join David! With such an army, the Philistines feared that having David among them was dangerous because he might turn back to Saul and come against them. This is the end of the loose treaty that bound David and the Philistines.

David's Many Wives

David takes many wives, something that was likely not encouraged by God. While the Bible doesn't condemn multiple wives, it definitely forbade kings from taking "too many" wives (see Deuteronomy 17:15-17). From a modern view point we would likely think anything more than 1 is too many, and if we compare David to his son Solomon, David doesn't seem like he has many wives anymore. However, compared to other Godly men such as Moses, Abraham, and Jacob, he still has too many wives. Moses only had 1 wifeβ€”2 if you are part of the camp that believe Zipporah and the Ethiopian woman were two different women. Abraham had a total of 3, but his third wife was likely taken after Sarah, his first wife, died. Jacob topped these men with 4 wives, but we see he only intended to have 1 wife. So how did David get away with so many?

My History of the Old Testament professor once asked us why God was OK with some people breaking the rules and I think David is perfect example to talk about this question. God doesn't explicitly condemn David for marrying lots of women, neither do we see Him explicitly condemn Solomon for the same. However, it is the love of women that gets both men into trouble with God. David lusts after Bathsheba causing him to commit adultery, then murder to cover up his adultery. Solomon gets sucked into the paganism of his wives and disappoints God as well. I think God doesn't explicitly condemn their behavior because we see the ramifications of it and should be able to conclude that it isn't good. In every example of a multi-wife family, we see problems: jealousy, paganism, and warring of nations. With the exception of Jesus, no human in the Bible perfect.

Tribe
Men Sent
Asher
40,000
Benjamin
3,000
Dan
28,600
Ephraim
20,800
Issachar
200
Judah
6,800
Levi
4,600
Manasseh
18,000
Naphtali
38,000
Simeon
7,100
Zebulun
50,000
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Moment of transparency, I had no idea how to answer the question when I was in that class. I definitely didn’t understand that we were supposed to see the outcome of people like David’s missteps and learn from them. It took several reads and maturing for me to understand that.

Back in Battle

The Philistines were smart not to trust David. Once he becomes king, it is inevitable that Israel goes to battle with them. David follows through with God's original command about war and commands his army to burn the images of the Philistine gods on the battlefield. Part of why David was said to be a man after God's heart is that he didn't hesitate to follow God's instructions.

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